The Making Of The New Vans Surf Flick, Get-N Classic
Vans’ Graham Nash has been cool enough to share with us some of the stories that went into the making of Vans’ new surf movie, titled Get-N Classic. While we’ve yet to see the flick, Graham and the Vans surf team are a talented bunch so it figures to be, well, classic! See below for some tales from the filming of the soon-to-be epic film…
Above: Andrew Doheny And His Mammoth Mammal Friend
This one starts when Newport's Andrew Doheny came up to Santa Cruz to film for the movie. The swell was fairly small for the couple days he was in town so we decided to drive up the coast and search some empty beach breaks. We checked this one spot with some wedging little peaks and walked about a 1/2 mile down to the beach. Once we arrived on the beach, Andrew spotted a couple new friends--about five absolutely massive elephant seals. We were hanging out on the beach, checking out the elephant seals when one of us got a little too close. This one seal must have been pretty annoyed because it immediately split and darted into the water. Andrew was already in his wetsuit and got pretty nervous about the seal being in the lineup with him, so he waited a few minutes until the seal apparently bailed. As Andrew walked down to the water’s edge the seal appeared out of nowhere and instantly started stalking him. For about 20 minutes anywhere Andrew went the giant seal followed. Andrew was just standing on the beach waiting for the seal to leave, but the seal had other plans in mind. After about 45 minutes the seal was being so aggressive in the lineup we decided it was a bad sign and decided to call it a session. Definitely the most aggro seal I have ever seen...must be a NorCal thing.
A Pricey Sacrifice To Mother Ocean
Forecasts showed a solid south swell headed to Central America, so Dylan Graves, Dane Gudauskas, Shea Lopez, and I headed on a strike mission to Costa Rica. We arrived to a pumping south swell and straight into some waves right in front of our house. We were shooting this A frame peak, the best angle was to film from this large shelf that went out almost to where the wave breaks. I was shooting from land and my friend Chris Steblay was shooting from the water. As the tide started to come in, waves would splash up into the frame of the shot, creating an interesting perspective on the action. Chris came into take a break from filming and was sitting right next to me with his water housing a few feet away. The swell was just starting to fill in at this point, which was forecast to be pretty sizeable. All of a sudden, the biggest set of the day came out of nowhere, clearly a few feet bigger than any other waves we had seen that morning. I was concentrating on filming when all of sudden the first wave slammed into the rocks and surged up onto where Chris and I were standing. The wave came in with a good amount of force and started to sweep Chris’s housing back out to sea with it. My tripod appeared to take the initial force of the wave coming in so I thought it was ok. I was more concerned about Chris’ housing and camera being swept to sea. My initial instinct was to try and dive and save Chris’s camera from going into the ocean. His camera was in a housing so it probably would have been fine anyways, since the housing floats. All I can say is it was a gut reaction. As I dove to try and save his camera, the force of the wave heading back out to sea picked up my tripod and took it with it. I watched in slow motion as my camera fall backward into the ocean, Chris dove to save it, but it dipped in and that was the last the camera ever worked. Luckily the rest of the trip we had some extra cameras, so it ended up working out, just a little sad having to sacrifice a such nice camera.
Uncle Shea's Grom Boot Camp
Shea Lopez is the gnarliest surfer in the world. He logs more hours in the water in one day than most pro surfers do on a whole trip. On our trip to Costa Rica, I think we had the longest day of filming that we had for the entire film. The night before the swell arrived, Shea sat the group down and explained the routine for the following morning. At first I thought he was kidding around, but if anyone knows Shea, he wasn’t. The next morning came with a 2:30 am wake up call. We had loaded up everything the night before, we got out the door around 3:00 am with coffee in hand. It gets light early in Costa Rica and we had a 1 hour drive to the spot , which put us there roughly at 4, still pitch black out. We pulled up to the river that you need to paddle across to get to the spot and instantly a surge of water came up and almost took our car with it. It was pretty tough to find the right place to leave the cars in the dark. We paddled across the river right at first signs of light with all of the camera equipment in pelican cases and on top of longboards. We had a solid hike left on the beach with all of the gear and then finally showed up to some amazing waves at first light, making the journey more than worth it. After surfing 'til about 2 pm we finally need a few minutes to rest and eat a quick power lunch. I believe Shea did not even eat lunch, he wanted to get back to the wave as quickly as possible. The rest of the crew needed a quick refuel which totaled about 10 minutes. We headed back to the spot and surfed until dark. Shea was the last person out of the water. It was an incredible day and definitely worth all the work.
Best Trip Ever!
The road trip down the east coast of Australia was when the entire experience of the movie project settled in. It was rad. We were mascots of a theme running to prove a point that you couldn’t be classic enough. We were slaves to the classicness, and in the backbreaking amounts of the fun we became calloused in the sunshine. Should we do this? Of course! Should I try and get that girls number? Yes! Should I go out tonight? Yes…again. What about surfing slabs with Mark Mathews? Sounds awesome! It was dope because we kept the energy alive for the whole trip. There wasn’t one bad vibe. We would meet people and ask about local spots and they would draw us maps. We would show up to where they said and it would be firing. It was unbelievable. It restored my faith in being able to meet and hang out with random strangers and have a hell time. Orange County is a much different land. So I guess when I think of this movie that trip is all I can really think about. It was the best surf trip I have ever been on in my life not just for waves. The idea of the trip came about from the skate video TENT CITY. Scott (team manager) at Vans was telling us about the skate trips that they use to do where they would just post tents up on the side of the road and camp. He said it would allow them to skate spots they never would have explored if they weren’t getting grass roots in tents. Camping is fun. You are more involved in the weather and the entire energy around you. Maybe that's what was giving us the good luck to all the good waves we did. Who knows but we had a hell time and definitely got classic!
John John Florence In Micronesia
A sneak peek at the sequel to Get-N Classic…stay tuned!